Books I’ve Read: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Young Adult Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

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As I continue to look through my old book journal, I’m posting about books I read a number of years ago. This week, I’ll be posting my initial “review”, on Divergent by Veronica Roth. It isn’t so much a review as my opinion of the book, and boy was it opinionated. See below:

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This write-up is pretty harsh. It sounds like I hated the book yet I gave it 4.5 stars. I guess that says a lot about a books ambiance, which to me means the general feeling the book generates and my ability to ‘suspend disbelief’. Divergent was a book that I really had to not try to reason out. I mean, the entire population of the city is forced into four groups—FOUR! People are so much more diverse than that. And there are so many more job functions than that. Anyway… Even if I had a difficult time falling for the premise and the choices some of the characters made, I liked the FEELING of the book. The tone. I guess that’s what won me over.

Come back later in the week to see what I thought about Insurgent.

JEH

What I’m Reading: Hunted (Spirit Animals #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Audiobook Review: Hunted by Maggie Stiefvater

The first book I listened to on my long road trip was Hunted, Spirit Animals #2 by Maggie Stiefvater. This is a middle grade fantasy series, and a bit of change of pace from my regular Young Adult readings. I really enjoyed the first audiobook in this series, read by Nicola Barber. Hunted was also read by Barber, and again she did a fantastic job.

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The Spirit Animals is a great light read, and the audiobooks would be great listening for a family road trip. The second book felt a bit formulaic (different events happened in much the same pattern as the first book), but they were paced well and still kept me alert. The four main characters (Conor, Rollan, Meilin, and Abeke). Each book in the series is written by a different author, but Hunted had much the same feel as Wild Born, which was written by Brandon Mull.

I really enjoy these books on audio, as they are only around 5 hours each (opposed to YA books which tend to be around 10-15 hours). That means I can listen to a full Spirit Animals book on one road trip, or one week at the gym. (I haven’t been going to the gym much lately but that is kind of beside the point). I don’t think I would get the same enjoyment out the books if I read them, but I might pick one up in order to compare the audio experience to the print one.

If you’re a fantasy lover who needs something to listen to during a long drive, or a bit of action to get you moving at the gym, then you might want to check out this audiobook series.

4/5 Stars.

JEH

Books I’ve Read: Castle Waiting Volume 2 by Linda Medley

I stayed up late last night finishing the second volume of Castle Waiting. It was good. Once I finished I Googled whether or not there would be a third volume, and read that the author is working on it. Supposedly the third volume would be in colour, and I’m not sure I’d like that. I love that volumes 1 and 2 are in black and white, I honestly think black and white is underrated. And yes, I also have a thing for black and white movies.

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Castle Waiting Volume 2 continues where volume one left off, and follows the inhabitants of the castle during they regular day, which is never regular. There are over four hundred pages of beautiful drawings and lovely story in this hardcover volume. It’s a lovely view of a fairy tale life, and definitely a castle I wish I could visit.

5/5 Stars

JEH

 

Books I’ve Read: Castle Waiting by Linda Medley

It’s not often I pick up a graphic novel. My husband gave me Castle Waiting by Linda Medley as a gift a couple years ago, and I loved it. Castle waiting is a beautifully illustrated black and white graphic novel great for all lovers of fairy tale and fantasy.

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Sometimes a change of pace is nice when reading, and after finishing Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners trilogy I was ready for something a bit different, so I picked up volume two and am currently working my way through it. This reminded me thg at I’d never posted anything about Castle Waiting Volume I, so here’s a picture of my book journal and my review from October 2014. As you can see, I was looking forward to the sequel.

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If you haven’t checked out this graphic novel yet, I highly recommend it.

JEH

Post-Birthday Blog

Yesterday was my birthday and I had such a great day. I spent two hours at the book store, did a bit of writing in a coffee shop, and picked out enough new reads to keep me busy for at least a year—at least when you add them to the already waiting 60+ books on my TBR pile. Here’s a pic of all the books I grabbed, some were regular price and some were bargains:

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I painted a picture with a bunch of friends last night. One of which brought me a ridiculous amount of chocolate (you know who you are). I loved it. Thanks to everyone who came out and to everyone who wished me a happy day.

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One of the best things about yesterday was I discovered the Indigo by my house FINALLY SEPARATED THE FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION SECTIONS! Maybe Science Fiction will finally get all the love it deserves.

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I also got in some other shopping on the weekend, and picked up a few new writing items. As always, they make my heart smile. 🙂

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Tomorrow I’m hoping to post an update on my 365,000 Words in a Year goal. See you then!

JEH

Book Shopping: Or Going to that Really Happy Place

I’ve been pretty quiet for the past week. That’s because I’m gearing up for my birthday, which is tomorrow, and my trip to that really happy place: the bookstore.

There are so many different book stores, there are new ones and old ones and small ones and big ones, stores for new books and stores for old books. And they all make me so happy. There’s just something about the atmosphere. It’s like I step into a book store and am just overwhelmed by all the words and pictures and collective thoughts and I just can’t help but smile. Given no time constraints, I could browse for hours. But on average i’d say that I spend one hour opening select books and reading a few lines, searching for what captures and holds my attention. In today’s world, there is an over abundance of books (maybe…I”m not too sure about this but some people think there is such a thing as too many books), it can be very difficult to choose.

Here is my suggestion for choosing a book:

  1. Pick up the book, open it about on third the way through. This is often where it gets pretty interesting. Read it. Do you like the style? The action? The dialogue? If it doesn’t make you want to read more, put it back and continue browsing.
  2. A recommendation made to you by someone you know who has similar taste in books (but doesn’t actually eat them).

Now, I probably shouldn’t be negative, but there are more ways I have for NOT choosing a book:

  1. By Smell.
  2. By On-line Reviews and Star Ratings (there are sooooo many fake reviews out there – more on this later), unless you know they come for a credible source.
  3. By Cover.
  4. By Taste (see above).

Tomorrow, this is what I’ll be doing. Weighing my selections and spending my book shopping savings wisely. I can’t wait.

JEH